Down the track, the souped-up Riverhead Fire Department fire truck revved its engines, jerking forward like a racehorse ready to buck out of the starting gate.
With a roar, the engine took off at full speed, then slammed on the brakes a few hundred feet down the track. Firefighters clinging to the rear of the truck leaped off the back, latching onto the nearby hydrant and attaching a hose within seconds.
By then, the fire truck was more than halfway down the track. As the brakes squealed, two more firefighters jumped off, rolling onto the ground and grabbing the hose trailing out of the back of the truck. One firefighter quickly unhooked the hose, while another attached a nozzle and aimed as the water reached the end of the hose.
From the starting line to the cheering crowd, it took less than 11 seconds.
Teams of firefighters from across Long Island braved the heat to compete in the 27th Annual Invitational Motorized Drill hosted by the Riverhead Fire Department Saturday afternoon.
The competition, which began at noon and lasted nearly seven hours, was a series of events that tested the firefighters’ ability to scale ladders, hook up hoses and spray down targets as fast as they could.
Hundreds of people attended the competition held at the fire department’s training ground near the Armory on Route 58. Central Islip Fire Department came out on top during the drill, taking home several first place trophies and coming within a second of besting the state record for the “buckets” event.
See below for a slideshow of the day’s events: